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July 29, 2014
Contact: Public Information Officer
Number: 954-660-4602

Leader of Colombian Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 18 Years in Federal Prison

JUL 29 (TAMPA, Fla.) – U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Vinston Boxton-Moises (49, San Andres Island, Colombia, South America) to 18 years in federal prison for conspiring with others to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, knowing and intending that the cocaine would be unlawfully imported into the United States .  Boxton was arrested on San Andres Island, Colombia in August 2013.  He was subsequently extradited to the Middle District of Florida (MDFL) for prosecution. Boxton pleaded guilty on May 6, 2014.

According to court documents, Boxton was a knowing and willing participant in a maritime drug smuggling operation between 2010 and 2013.  Boxton would organize cocaine shipments by contracting vessels, recruiting crewmembers and mechanics, and dispatching cocaine-laden go-fast vessels (GFVs).
         
On May 31, 2012, the U.S. interdicted the GFV TAUPLY in the Caribbean Sea approximately 85 nautical miles southeast of Nicaragua, which Boxton coordinated.  The TAUPLY interdiction resulted in the seizure of approximately 1,000 kilograms of cocaine and the prosecuted of the five crewmembers in the MDFL for violations of the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act

This case was investigated by the Panama Express Strike Force, a standing Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation, comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U. S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and U.S. Southern Command's Joint Interagency Task Force South.  The case is being prosecuted the United States Attorney’s Office for the MDFL.

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